Sunday, December 6, 2009

Writing and Loving

There's been so little time lately to write in this blog, originally intended as a place where I would write from my heart, revealing myself - thus the blog name, Into-Me-See. As a self-employed person, workshop leader and author, most of my writing is oriented toward letting the world know what I do, letting the world know that there is a way to be in love, to be in life, to be in relationship, a way that allows happiness to flow with confidence and regularity.

I love to write, I love the way words take form through my fingers on a keyboard. Even when playing flute, I hear/sense words directing the music, giving it shape and formation. It's not that I have a lot to say. Like certain birds, I imagine, the song I sing sounds the same to me, feels the same to me, even as the words change. It is a song of love and if you were watching me right now, you'd see a glowing smile on my face and laughter beginning to bubble up within me.

Perhaps I'm not saying much of anything, or much about anything, but things aren't what the world needs more of, are they? We do need more love! How blessed I am to be in a relationship where I get to practice love on a daily basis. Although I was thinking first of my darling Richard/husband, as the sentence came to a close I realized that my new blessing is the presence of my mother.

I read today that boomer babies (I'm one) are the first generation to grow old along with their mothers - which gives us the opportunity to finally recognize and appreciate the depth of love in this most challenging bond.

And it truly is a bond, isn't it? Even for those of us who were well-enough loved as children, and I was, the mother/daughter bond can be fraught with tension and unresolved issues. I couldn't wait to leave home at 18; my mom was only 42 then. Now she is almost 88, and I am thrilled that she has just relocated to live near me. I am delighted that I can find time to be with her.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Electric Hugs

When one of our workshop participants said that her intention was to get back that feeling she felt during the “electric hugs” she used to share with her husband, something in me went “Yes!” I loved that image, an electric hug. Who wouldn’t want one? In a sense, that’s what Tantric sex is. Our bodies have bio-electric energy surging through them. When we get in touch with our own inner flow, and connect directly with our partner, it is indeed like an electric hug.

Oh, there are other types of hugs – caring, tender, supportive, friendly, nourishing – and an electric hug can have all those qualities as well. Hugs increase the production of oxytocin (the "bonding" hormone) and lower blood pressure, so all hugs, whether or not they're electric, are healthy and worth enjoying.

However, s
ometimes we resist a hug from our partner because we feel it’s not going to stop there, that the hug is expected to advance to further sexual engagement, and maybe we're not in the mood. Sometimes we refrain from reaching out to hug our partner, because we're afraid he or she will interpret it as a sexual move and we don't want to stir that pot right now.

When we keep our bodies separate, our hearts begin to close. Oxytocin drops off and we lose our connection with one another. If this describes your relationship, then it's time to take action and bring hugs back into your life. Perhaps it will feel awkward at first, maybe you didn't experience much hugging as a child. How can you begin now? You can ask for a hug. You can give a hug. You can ask if it's ok to give a hug.

To develop more connection, lengthen the hug so it is not just a quick squeeze but a longer, shared time of body-to-body touching. Even ten or fifteen seconds will make a huge difference. A twenty second hug is bound to awaken both oxytocin and endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Electric energy is not far behind! What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mid-October Already?

The days and months keep flying by.. Are they being twittered away? Well, yes, I am getting used to expressing thoughts in 140 characters - often, really, exactly that number! Twitter is fast and fleeting but can develop a certain comforting rhythm. Twitter and commenting on other people's blogs both allow me to engage in my favorite dialog about topics such as intimacy, love, Tantra, and living life in joy, and also provide an opportunity for me to let people know about our book and workshops. It's a win-win activity!

On the schedule this month: a book signing, an Intimacy Retreat for couples, and a Goddess Retreat (for Women only).

At home, new developments due to my mother deciding to leave her partner of the last 7 years and return to live here in the Sarasota area. She is currently at my home, and when she asked me today, how it felt to have an almost-88 year old mother on my hands, I said, I feel lucky! And I do.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's Happiness Got To Do With It .. Women, Life and Pleasure? Try the Tantric Approach!

Great post, I find it facsinating that in the Tantric system, we celebrate the feminine as the active principle. While there are some similarities with the Chinese yin/yang approach, that's a major difference. Yin is used to describe some of the same feminine attributes, but is considered to be more quiet and receptive in relationship to the activity of yang. It is when we women most fully relax into our yin nature, that the Shakti energy comes alive in us. In the yin/yang circle, that is evidenced by the white, yang dot on the dark yin side of the symbol. Shakti arising out of the depths of yin.(Nothing can be totally yin or totally yang; each eventually turns into the other.)

Shiva awaits that emergence of Shakti, he is enegized by it. And so wholeness - and indeed, happiness - comes to both. (And yes, none of this is truly gender-based, which makes Tantra such a deliciously flexible experience.)

Diana Daffner, author of Tantric Sex for Busy Couples
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Like you, perhaps, I am turned on by connecting. I enjoy the feeling that comes with connection - positive connection, that is. (There's probably a kind of connection that occurs in negative interactions, but that's not my style nor is it the feeling I enjoy...!) Today I experienced connection with strangers on Twitter and Facebook. I later learned that one of my not-personally-known-to-me "Facebook Friends" is actually registered for an upcoming Intimacy Retreat - so he won't remain a stranger much longer! It seems odd to write the word stranger... People we don't know "follow" us and "friend" us. No one is really a stranger, once that contact has been made.

Also on Facebook, there are connections with "real" friends, i.e., people with whom I have a relationship in "real" life. It was via Facebook that I heard about one such friend's emergency room experience last night. It was via Facebook that I learned of the death of one of the drummers from the Siesta Key Drum Circle. (It was on MySpace that I found his photo and memorable words to share at his memorial.)

Pulling myself away from the computer, I went to meet some local friends, a salon-style gathering where the topic was creativity. Instead of "commenting" online, we spoke and commented in each other's presence. This kind of face-to-face connection is vital and must not be allowed to be crowded out by all the virtual connections that keep us so busy.

And then, of course, there's the connection I share with my beloved, my husband, my lover. Entering into the sacred space of our love, together, our connection opens us up to a connection with All That Is.

In some sense, if you're reading this, we too are sharing a connection. Can you feel it?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Intimacy is Just a Shift Away

September is here. There's been a shift from summer vacation to the start of school. Here in Florida, although it's still hot, the shift is noticeable: summer visitors are gone, winter tourists and residents haven't arrived yet. It's easier to get a parking spot at the beach, a seat at the movies and restaurants.

Many people feel that cosmic shifts are happening. This week, 09-09-09 sparked a flurry of ceremonies around the globe. I was delighted to play flute at one here on Siesta Beach. When people participate in ceremony, they shift into a sacred space. ~ SunBear

What shifts do you notice in YOUR life? During our daily tantric lovemaking this morning, Richard and I both noticed when we "shifted" from our individual, personal thoughts into a connection of we-ness. There was an almost tangible click as we shifted into the same orbit.

It's like shifting gears. If we're just zooming along at normal speed, we can easily miss each other. When we slow down, when we each remember to become present and in touch with the moment, we suddenly find each other. Click!

Find yourself, and your beloved, today. Slow down and make the shift. Intimacy is always just a click away!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gratitude in Relationship

When I invite gratitude into my life, there is an immediate and delicious softening around the edges of my ego. My heart opens. I breathe more fully. The muscles, tissues and cells of my body relax. My mind lets go of its incessant occupation with what isn't, and quietly eases into the reality of what is.

The experience of gratitude is always here-and-now. I can give thanks, and feel thankful, only in the present moment. Settling into the present moment, I reveal my authentic beingness. I shift from a limited narcissitic perspective into the eternal sacredness of connection with All That Is.

Gratitude seems at first to be very self-centered. I am grateful for what I have in my life, for the gifts and abundance that surround me, nourish and support me. Grateful for the friends I have, the work I do, the opportunities the universe offers me. Grateful for my health or, if I am in dis-ease, grateful for an improvement back toward health. Like Pollyanna, I can find a reason to be grateful regardless of how bleak things may seem. Even the tiniest reason counts.

Personal gratitude can serve as a springboard to spiritual expansion. The act of gratitude itself, the physical, emotional and mental joining that takes place at the moment of giving thanks releases a powerful energy in the circuitry of our consciousness. This release takes place regardless of what we are being grateful for. Even a single moment of gratitude can alter our inner dynamic from a linear vibration of separateness to a circular flow of wholeness and belonging. From separate self to the One Self.

Significant amplification of this process takes place when we give thanks together. The shared energy of a group increases the transformation for each individual. This occurs whether we are giving thanks as a family before dinner, or in a formal ceremony of prayer in a spiritual community.

A love relationship can be a spiritual community of two. Gratitude plays a significant role in this elevation of relationship. Expressing our appreciation for one another is perhaps more important than anything else we do together. When we do so on a regular basis, our relationship is strengthened and empowered. Relationships improve when there is purposeful recognition of the various contributions each person makes - the preparation of a dinner, the mowing of a lawn. To thank another for simply being in our lives is enough to make a difference. When an aura of gratitude pervades a relationship, both individuals are continually renewed in spirit.

The element of gratitude also transforms sexual relations. Sex with a loving partner allows us to experience gratitude in the very depths of our soul. When we expose our bodies to another, when we uncover our hidden inner regions, when we permit another to touch and caress us into a joyous explosion of our sexuality, the pleasure of the release and the resulting glow is heightened by our grateful sense of having been accepted, valued, loved. Not only women, but men too, feel grateful when they open to their receptive yin nature. We yearn to be cared for at this level of intimacy, but are so often afraid to ask for it or admit how important it is to us. Perhaps we fear that too much gratitude might consume or weaken us. But allowing ourselves to enjoy being intimately treasured by another will not take away the strength of our own self-valuation. A relationship that is rich and balanced in shared gratitude is one that allows us to transcend the personal self and enter into the transcendent realm of sacred union.

Every moment of gratitude brings us into a here-and-now presence and enriches our lives. And when we enter into such moments with our lover, we merge together into the core of our being.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sting and Tantric Sex

In a recent interview, the 18 year old daughter of musician Sting declared that her dad knows nothing about tantric sex. Some years ago a rumor had traveled the internet, that not only was Sting practicing tantric sex, he and his wife Trudie were doing for 8 hours at a time!

My husband and I were already leading Intimacy Retreats and teaching couples about the benefits of tantric sex... but we weren't setting records for marathon episodes. I was secretly relieved when about a year later, I heard that Sting had commented, "8 hours? I said that? I must have been including dinner and a movie!" Yet I also heard his wife Trudie Styler tell Oprah that sometimes he would draw a bath for her, and massage her. That's certainly time well spent!

This isn't the only occasion that Sting and Trudie's sex life has been in the news, but hopefully people won't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is great value in understanding and practicing the aspects of sexual energy that define tantric sex. When combined with an opening of the heart, couples who bother to explore and embrace this ancient path are rewarded with amazing experiences of love, intimacy and spiritual joy.

Maybe Sting & Trudie will come to one of our workshops or read our book!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tantra on Huffington Post

(I just wrote this as a comment to an an article/post on The Huffington Post, about Tantra. It was too long so I am posting it here in its entirety.)

Lots of comments to this post. Some object to a connection between sex & spirituality, others are concerned that the teachings presented here (in the Huffington Post article) aren't pure Tantra. At the end of the day, or the year, or the lifetime, what matters most is that we have loved. Even the Dalai Lama has said that life is about experiencing happiness. If we can find ways to bring more love and happiness into relationships by drawing on some principles of ancient wisdom, so much the better for all of us.

Oddly, the spiritual training most pertinent to my leading Intimacy Retreats for couples is twelve years of dedicated, daily training in Aikido. Yes, a martial art, and yes, Aikido is indeed more about spiritual awakening than about fighting. And no, Aikido is not about sex. (It’s a martial art, not a marital art!) One thing I learned in Aikido is that when my partner (not considered an "opponent").. . when my partner in Aikido extends energy toward me, I can blend with that energy, I can enter into such a connection with that partner, that, literally, for that moment, we become intimately part of something larger. Through a process of centering, I encounter a larger sense of being that encompasses us both. This is also experienced with my husband, not on an Aikido mat, but in our more physically intimate bedroom time together. This feeling is what most people would call spiritual. Many today call it tantric sex.

Ten years ago, when we created a modified Qigong practice that we call “Tantra Tai Chi,” I had some reservations at first to using the name. But as the years have passed, and restaurants and bands also use the name Tantra, I have become more accepting of its use in the public vernacular.

I’m a certified instructor a moving exercise originated by a westerner only 40 years ago. He named it T’ai Chi Chih®. When I began teaching, I was warned by a teacher from a more ancient lineage that this could be dangerous. Since one of the places I taught was the Manhattan AIDS project, I had to laugh. Dangerous?

I have huge respect for those who delve deeply into powerful spiritual traditions. Yet perhaps it is in the light-hearted yet meaningful sharing of principles from those ancient traditions, that their value is further increased and maintained.

Practices taught at weekend workshops do not generally lead to rigorous and lengthy training. On the other hand, they encourage a lifetime of continued - and enjoyable - practice. The merging of meditation and sexual pleasure, the ongoing activation and expression of love and intimate presence, these are the rewards that even a watered-down and maybe slightly skewed teaching of Tantra can provide us with.

Happiness is contagious and I hope we all catch it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Social Networking? Significant Others?

Much of my day revolves around connecting with my S.O.’s. With Richard, my husband and MOST significant other, I take time every day to connect in a magical, meditative, spiritually, sexual way. If you’ve read our book, you know that we are hooked on S.E.X. as a Synchronized Energy eXchange. Yes, tantric sex keeps our marriage juicy after almost 25 years!

And there are other significant people I stay in touch with. Family and close friends. Far and near. Inner circle. As often as possible, but not always every day and sometimes not even every month.

There are all the warm acquaintances and friends with whom I sometimes party, watch sunsets with, meet by chance in the supermarket or at yoga on Siesta Beach. Real people in real time. When there’s time. (Missed yoga this morning. But I’m headed out soon to lead T’ai Chi Chih on the beach, as long as those clouds keep moving away.)

And then there are all those digital connections via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, articles and emails. My “reading public.” (First time I've ever used that term, I like the sound of it!) I stay in touch with dozens, hundreds, thousands of people whom I will probably never meet face-to-face. Yet there is significance in these relationships, too. It’s not just “business” networking. Many of my connections in cyberspace are people who are also reaching out to the world to share themselves, their dreams, and to help make it a better world, for themselves and for others. It’s truly a social network, a social movement that is growing larger by the nanosecond. I enjoy being part of that network, connecting with my many significant others. I love you all!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bookstore Controversy

Too Hot for Sarasota? Well, they didn't actually ban my book, just weren't comfortable promoting us for a book signing. Why? It's all in the title. Read more here...

The joy of love is founded and grounded in the delight of sexual arousal - that "in-love" feeling that so many couples feel is missing from their relationship. Along comes a book that can help couples regain that lovin' feeling, re-ignite their passionate connection, and.. what, it's "too hot" a topic?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Sounds of Today

Today my life was a wild melody, a cacophony of multiple sounds. There was a harmonious group conversation with several people leaning toward each other in pursuit of shared interests. (Check out There were one-on-one dialogs, some easy and rewarding, others more difficult, but also rewarding, in the way that difficult conversations can be. And then a low, guttural scream (or was it a high piercing shriek) silently emitted from yours truly trying to solve an email problem that only appears to be sending out my messages. Yikes!

Just before I dissolved into a useless heap of spent energy, along came my Focusing partner, another unexpected phone call. So I took the opportunity to settle into myself, check in with the inner workings of my bodily felt sense, and discovered that I was actually having FUN! Really? I was enjoying all of this craziness careening around me? Well, yes. I seem to be in touch and aligned with an intimate rush of energy wanting to express itself. And that’s a good thing. Makes me smile. Reminds me that one of my nicknames (what an odd expression, a "nick" name).. is Laughing Goddess!

And how is your song today?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Feeling Sexy?

Sexy is the delighted smile caught across the room. Eyes lighting up at a glance. Slow, sensual lovemaking. Being happy for no reason. A satisfying rearrangement of art or furniture. Sexy is an impromptu jam – with musical instrument, voice or body. A touch, a scent. An openness to the moment. Sexy is a tingling, an energy flow. Sex itself is sexy when S.E.X. = Synchronized Energy eXchange, Shared Energy eXchange. Tantric sex is sexy. It involves the eyes, the touch, the senses. The mind listening to the heart is sexy. Nature is sexy. A leaf unfurling, a bud releasing into bloom. The rich dark earth. Soft breeze caressing skin. The night sky, the full moon. Stars. Sunrise. Surprises.

A great relationship is sexy. Waking up in love. The first rush of hot chemical connection is definitely sexy. But then sometimes sexy gets lost in the chaos of family, friends, home, health and career.

Sexy can be recaptured. It’s always there, in the very core of our being. Our inner joy. Sexy isn't what we do, it's who we are.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reiki ~ A Touch of Energy

As a massage instructor at Esalen Institute, many years ago, I discovered that if I just held my hands still, resting them on my client's body, a deepening experience of relaxation occurred. I experimented with placing my hands in different areas, and found that each person had an "energy map" that guided me. Sometimes I felt in contact with their soul, even past lives. This type of hands-on contact was probably the first way one human reached out to help another feel better, help another heal. In my youthful exuberance, I thought I had invented a form of healing that no one else knew about! I called it "Energy Alignment," because it felt as if an alignment took place between the physical body and the energy overlay.

I began to hear of other systems that used this approach and realized that although it was new to me, it wasn't new at all. One system is called Reiki, which is Japanese for "universal energy." Eventually I became "attuned" to the Reiki energy and certified as a Reiki Teacher (Actually called Reiki Master but my feminist spirit prefers not to use gender-based terms. And Reiki Mistress, well, doesn't quite do it.)

This week I reunited with a group of Reiki healers I used to meet with when I first moved to Florida. (Yikes, that was in the last century!) We did a round-robin of treatments on one another - brief, only five minutes each, but with eight sets of hands applying the touch at once, it was extraordinary. Time stretched to encompass a transformation of dimensions.

The potential of touch is enormous. Babies, as well as the oldest among us, "fail to thrive" without it. Beyond fulfilling a living need, touch brings us into the intersection of here-and-now, the place where authentic intimacy (into-me-see) takes place.

Richard (my husband) and I have been focusing on the power of touch lately. Highlighting the connection of skin-to-skin ~ The Lover's Touch.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I was so excited last night, participating in a teleseminar with Gay Hendricks - yes, participating, thanks to a new technology that lets listeners interact in groups with each other. (The seminar event was free - there are still more offerings this month, also free, with other leaders. Check it out at maestromonth)

Gay's work over the years has instructed and inspired me. It was especially exciting to hear him say that COMMITMENT is the number #1 most important step in moving forward and creating change. We have a chapter in our book called "Commitment to Intimacy" and a move in Tantra Tai Chi called, what else, the "Commitment Move." So when I heard him say that, I felt a huge "YES!" run through my body. Yes! Commitment. Showing up.

I also appreciated Hendricks's emphasis on reaching out to others as we ourselves evolve. He invited us to speak this mantra/affirmation: "I expand in abundance, success, creativity and love every day as I inspire others to do the same!" The concept is that we can move ourselves to higher levels of love, abundnce, success and creativity by making the commitment to do so along with a commitment to inspire others as well. He invites us to take a look at old programming that holds as back, as well as four specific fears that may be hiding within us: (1) fear of outshining someone, (2) fear of being a burden (3) fear of leaving people behind and (4) the fear of being fundamentally flawed. Lots to chew on here. His new book is The Big Leap: Connquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level.

And now I notice a part of me pulling back, resisting. Ah-ha! A hidden fear revealing itself? Doesn't want to be chewed on, just held with compassion. These fears, whichever may show up, are not recent, they have lived in us for a very long time. Perhaps we have ignored or suppressed them. By embracing and meeting our fears with presence, we open ourselves to the possibility of change, we create the potential for taking that big leap.

And it all begins with commitment. "I commit to expanding in abundance, love, creativity and success every day as I inspire others to do the same!"

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I appreciate living in the U.S.A., and on the 4th of July, I also appreciate the ancient Chinese. Not only did they create T'ai Chi which has so greatly influenced my life, they also gave us fireworks. Historians aren't in agreement as to exactly when and where the first dazzling display occurred, but I can tell you about the most recent occasion I enjoyed - last night on Siesta Beach!

Perhaps it's extravagant for each of our local towns to sponsor a separate display, and it may even be bad for the environment. I don't know if there are "green" fireworks, but last night's colors included green, as well as a myriad of other colors and wonderful red hearts. Booming and bursting right above us as we lay on the beach, I can't say whether I was really celebrating American Independence Day or my own anniversary weekend. (It's also the birthday of my friend's son, Obama's daughter, and I'm sure many others, all of whom probably grew up thinking the fireworks were in celebration of them!)

Speaking of the word celebrate, in my Intimacy Retreats newsletter this weekend, I included that story about a monk... well, you can read it here:

Whatever, whenever and however we celebrate, may it always highlight and expand the love and happiness in our hearts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I love my husband!

No, he didn't do something out-of-the-ordinary that brought me to that realization. It was a gift from last night's Summer Solstice Celebration. A group of like-minded individuals met behind Sarasota's Unity Church, which has a wonderful labyrinth laid out in a wooded area. The event was filled with sacred chants and a variety of ceremonial empowerments, led by my friends, local spiritual guides Zan Benham and Jo Mooy.

Rev. Elizabeth of Unity sang. Dr. Marguerite Barnett danced. I played flute. Patti Star shared an aromatic blessing. Seven men honored the seven directions (East, South, West, North, Sky, Earth and Center). And there was even more. Everyone present put their energy into a special mandala painting carried around the circle.

After darkness fell, and the event ended, people left. I found myself walking the labyrinth itself, which hadn't actually been part of the ceremony. I love walking a labyrinth and use it sometimes in my own workshops. We once led an Intimacy Retreat at Relax-4-Life, a labyrinth center near Chicago. (Check out their hand-held labyrinths!) There's something magical and meaningful that occurs as you walk round and round to the center, and then out again.

As I walked, I felt at ease and in alignment with my life path. Yet a question arose, "What is my real truth?" Without seeking an answer, I simply walked with the question. Upon reaching the sacred center, I heard this powerful statement emerge from within me: "I love my husband!"

I wasn't expecting that at all! But it was delicious, and definitely true, and as I followed the path back out of the labryrinth, I held that truth as a joyous feeling.

Imagine my surprise, as I existed the labyrinth, to actually see my husband. He had decided to come to the event rather late and had just arrived, after everyone else was gone - except me.

This was a Summer Solstice I will always remember.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Hip Bone's Connected...

One thing leads to another. Coincidences? Fate? Karma? All I know for sure is that I never know in advance what will happen when I move forward. Moving forward can simply mean getting up, getting dressed and going for a walk. Attending a gathering - social or professional. Leaving a comment on a blog that interests me. Sure, sometimes nothing happens. But more often than not, one thing leads to another, and usually in most unexpected ways.

Or maybe I just forget all the days when "nothing" happens. By the time "nothing" has happened, I'm already moving forward in another way!

I started this post a few days ago and probably had something significant to share about connections, but alas, I have moved on.

So what's exciting to me today is that it is Night Blooming Cereus time! Every year, around summer solstice, this cactus-vine plant that wraps around our palm trees puts out flowers. Just this time of year. For a few days, there are blooms. But here's the catch - ONLY at NIGHT! And what blooms they are. You have to wonder, why at night, and, why during the SHORTEST nights of the year?

There are some photos below. The real flower is even more profound. In the bottom photo, see the little fuzzy balls? They'll get more and more erect until finally they'll burst out into full bloom some night in the next week or so. In the morning, the spent flower droops on the vine like a used condom. These photos aren't the best, but they'll have to do for now. Sunset beckons and I'm off to the beach!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Greeted by Dolphins

June already! How quickly the months fly by. On the other hand, it seems ages ago that we celebrated my birthday at the drum circle on Siesta Beach (May 10) and that we held book signings in bookstores on Miami Beach and in St. Louis (mid-May). That week, too, I was the Sunday Celebration Speaker at the Center for Spiritual Living in St. Louis - you can listen to the talk right here. Prior to this talk, I had given one at the earlier service that morning. They were intended to be pretty much the same, but this second one turned out quite different from the first. That's quite an art, learning to deliver two similar talks back-to-back. I now have great respect for those who do it regularly!

Just this past weekend, we led a One-Day Intimacy Retreat in Orlando. Different from our weekend workshops, but really a valuable day for the participants. So much packed into one day! There were happy tears during the day and lots of smiles when they left - hurrying home to put into practice what they had learned. Funny how some of the best memories of Intimacy Retreats are of the events that take place back in the couples' private rooms...!

This morning I managed to rise in time to attend yoga on the beach which is now at 8 a.m. instead of 9. Well worth it. Richard joined me for Avananda's wonderful class. Afterward we relaxed our bodies into the Gulf of Mexico, which was like a silky lake this morning, with a pod of dolphins in the neighborhood too! (Maybe some day I'll write about my fabulous meditative experience with dolphins. They are AMAZING beings.)

We returned home and took time to enjoy our daily tantric practice together - Peaceful Passion. What a great beginning for the first day of the month.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cyberspace Publicity

Unless she's already a prime time success, it is the author's responsibility to let people know about a newly published book. Therefore, much of my time is being spent this year on exactly that, letting the world know about my new book. (And, of course, about the Intimacy Retreats that my husband and I lead. )

What's exciting about doing book publicity is that I get to create or join ongoing conversations about love, sex, intimacy, relationships, Tantra and sacred awareness. Looking for appropriate conversations in cyberspace is like attending the HUGEST trade show or networking event one could ever imagine! It's up and running 24/7, and there are zillions of booths and visitors, each of which is a potential contact, someone new to meet.

Just as in face-to-face events, sometimes I meet and connect with people who are interested in my topic, and sometimes I don't. This week, I discovered Joan Price's blog about senior sexuality. She's the author of Better Than I Ever Expected, and she has now left a comment right here on MY blog, how cool is this!?

Each time I leave a comment somewhere, it's as if I've put a flyer on a bulletin board and people with similar interests may notice it and seek more information. Cyberspace publicity would seem to be the opposite of intimacy, but that's only if you choose to remain anonymous. Since I want people to get to know about me, I always use my real name and contact information. In a sense, I'm putting myself out there, saying "hey, here I am, take a look at me, maybe there's a conversation here, maybe our paths are meant to intersect for awhile." Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Life is like that, isn't it? We can't know in advance when or where intimacy will arise.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

So many experiences...

So many experiences of intimacy, of joyous connection with life, with others, with the flow of love... and so little time to blog about it!

I've been on the road, with book signings and family events and, yes, even just relaxing and enjoying the marvelous world we live in. Writing has taken a back seat but I wanted to stop in and say hi.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mother's Day Approaches

This Sunday is Mother's Day, of course. I've just sent out a newsletter to subscribers on my website, that includes a "message to men" for Mother's Day..

And Sunday is my birthday. I hope lots of people will celebrate with me at the Siesta Key Drum Circle!

Also this Sunday, at 1 pm, I will stand in silence for 5 minutes, in coordination with women (and men) everywhere, for a better world. What a wonderful way to create world-wide connection between people - And it's a great way to create memories, too. In May 2007, I stood on a train from Milan to Florence. And instead of a bell, I played my flute to signify the beginning and the end of the five minute period. It's nice to have my memories of our month in Europe anchored with this one special moment of standing with women everywhere. Here's to a better world, and to more joy in the one we've got. In each single moment, we can choose to make it better and more joyful. Now.

It's been a busy week, lots of publicity for my book - magazine articles published, interviews on various blogs and radio shows, getting ready for our upcoming book signings and workshops. I'll be away from cyberspace for long stretches of time (hours, at least), won't that be a welcome change!

Off now to catch sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Join me for a beach walk?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Social Networking

As I spend time traveling around cyberspace, looking for places to post information about the Intimacy Retreats or my book signing schedule, I find that "social networking" leads me into actual connections with real people. Today I had a wonderful dialog with California writer and Tantra teacher Luminessa Enjara, whose passion is to empower women through their sexuality.

Another sex coach, Pam Babbitt of Colorado, wrote about my book today in her blog. I'm reminded that I am part of a larger community. Since I spend most days sitting in front of my computer, I tend to forget that I'm not really alone. How easy it is to get caught in that "optical delusion of separation" (Einstein quote in my last post). How heart-warming and uplifting to awaken to the reality of connection. Allowing myself to be seen, I am embraced by the universe.

I've decided to celebrate my birthday this Sunday (May 10) by inviting everyone to join me at the Siesta Key Drum Circle. Eleven years ago, it was my birthday event that brought the circle back to life after it had gotten rained out for many Sundays in a row. There's something about drumming that brings a group into harmony together, sharing a resonance of vibration. (Maybe it's similar to mob mentality, but with a higher purpose?)

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

As I muse on the historical and current meanings of May Day, what first comes to mind is the emergency signal sent out when trouble arises "May Day, May Day."

Hmm.. I wonder if Mother Earth is sending out a May Day signal, warning of us climate change. Are we listening?

May Day celebrations today are often labor-oriented, and socio/political.

In ancient times, and in many towns today too, May Day was and is a start-of-summer floral holiday, and quite festive, with May Poles and May Baskets and the like. Not that labor marches aren't festive, often with lots of music.

Holidays inspire gatherings of people. Such gatherings can generate an intimate group feeling which we humans need. We need to feel as if we belong. (If any non-humans happen to read this, please leave a note and let me know how you might differ.)

Of course, sometimes in a group setting, we can still feel quite alone. We are never really alone, of course; it just seems that way some times. We are all connected. Which reminds me of that wonderful Einstein quote...

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Old Flames

Now that's an interesting phrase, "old flames." I didn't think of it until I just now entered the title of this post. What I WAS thinking about was... someone I had been in relationship with many years ago... and then another someone... and as I thought of these past loves, it made a change in my day. Here I was, kind of spent from being on the computer all day, seeking ways to contribute to the global conversation about love and intimacy (and, yes, seeking publicity for my book, that too).

I noticed an email announcing that my Focusing mentor, Ann Weiser Cornell, will lead a workshop at Esalen Insitute in Big Sur, California. Which led me online to the Esalen site, reminiscing about how I had taught massage there many years ago, reminiscing about living in Big Sur, which led to googling friends from those days... which led to musing about past loves. Which brought a smile to my face! I'm even sitting here, still at my computer, missing sunset on the beach, because thinking about these past loves is bringing back memories and feelings that are quite delicious.

So "flames" is maybe a good word - in the sense that they still have the ability to warm my heart and maybe even tickle my fancy, so to speak. One I haven't seen since 1985. The other, I unexpectedly ran into on an isolated beach in Yelapa, Mexico, in 1997. Perhaps they are thinking of me (after all, my birthday's coming up next month, surely they remember? ;-)

How lucky I am that thinking about past relationships brings joy and happiness to my heart. Since they're "past" relationships, there were obviously times of great stress but my body seems to remember the good times, the connection that I had with each of them. (On the periphery of my consciousness are others, too, but they're not clamoring for attention, so I need not remember them right now!)

I'm not wanting to end the post. I sit here basking in my own smile, even laughing aloud with delight. But now I'll go give Richard a big hug - and let him know that HE's the flame of my life!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Beat Goes On

What a great drum circle on our fabulous Siesta Beach last night. Not only did I play sticks again, I also drummed, and even played flute - actually a small clay ocharina in the shape of an owl that I found during one of our Mexico workshops.

In a previous post, I explained playing sticks at the drum circle, but this time was even more intense - a three-some took place. A young boy joined in, and the three of us were dancing and weaving to the wonderful drum beat, while passing the twirling stick from one to the other. An intimate but non-sexual ménage à trois!

Richard showed up and we danced in each other's loving energy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sweat Lodge Ceremony

Was it ever hot! Yesterday Richard and I participated in a powerful sweat lodge ceremony. What's that, you may ask. Physically, it's kind of a cross between a sauna and a steam bath. However it's a very spiritual ceremony, held in nature. We humbly entered into a low, dome-shaped structure, representative of returning to the womb, and sat in darkness while steam and heat rose from hot rocks placed in the middle of the space. There were 11 of us, and for those of you into numbers and/or metaphsyics, it was held on an 11:11 day, said to be a time of connection with unseen spirits. (April 25, 2009 - 4+2+5=11 and 2+0+0+9=11.)

The sweat lodge is a purification, a prayer, an intense experience of opening up in an ancient way to Great Spirit. There are four rounds of rocks brought in, one for each of the directions, East, South, West and North. In each of the rounds, our attention was directed to specific qualities and metaphors associated with that direction.

The East represents "new beginnings," while the South is filled the passionate ripeness and sounds of life in all of its fullness. West is the more quiet "looks-within time," where we bravely embrace our fears and the North represents a time and place before birth.

Both North and South American Indian tribes held sweat lodges. In Mexico, at our winter Intimacy Retreats, our groups participate in a similar Mayan experience, called Temascal.

Although we may know nothing of each other's personal lives, those of us who sit together in a sweat lodge share an intimate time of honoring ancient ways.

When I emerged, I felt completely at peace. Sometimes I have had great insights during a sweat lodge. This time, it was enough to simply be there, to have made connection with the stones, the earth, the ancestors, and All That Is.

Thanks to Zan of, for her focused and inspired leading of this sweat lodge.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Yoga on the Beach

Once again I got myself out to the beach for a wonderful morning hatha yoga class with Avananda from Hawaii. Not being a morning person, this is a stretch in more ways than one! But it's totally worth it. Ava is extraordinary and I get to enjoy a connection with the sand, air, sea and sun, as well as with a huge group of locals and tourists who show up to take advantage of the class.

Yoga is so healthy, for body, mind and soul.

Haven't had my "ten minute" daily Peaceful Passion with Richard yet today, though. Oh well, we'll catch up I'm sure!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beach Ceremony

Earth Day yesterday, and I joined with others at sunset on our beautiful Siesta Key Beach, in the ancient way of honoring our connection with All That Is.

Organized by visionary artist and writer, Jo Mooy and spiritual guide Zan Butterfly Deerwoman, and graced by the magical voice of Faerie Elaine Silver, the ceremony brought us all together into sacred presence.

While each participant dipped hands into a bowl of sea water, offering a blessing to the earth, I played flute, accompanied by aromatherapist Patti Star on crystal bowl and massage therapist and DJ Normen Schindowski on didgeridoo.

After this wonderful event, I stayed on the beach playing flute with Freedom - from our Siesta Key drum circle - and a visitor - both of whom are fabulous musicians, what an honor and connection it was to play with them.

Playing music with others is like making love. A blessed path of into-me-see and sharing the moment.

Thanks for stopping by.
~ Diana

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To Do List

This morning began, as most mornings do, with ten minutes of Peaceful Passion with my husband Richard, what a great way to start the day. Absolute intimacy.

Then, back to work. My t0-do list keeps growing. You might think that getting a book published is a destination, but really, it's just the beginning of the book-publishing journey! And in today's e-world, the journey spawned by becoming an author is ongoing, 24/7, with a zillion possible paths to follow. It's exciting, exhausting and exhiliarting and I have no idea where it will take me.

One path has already led to my being asked to give the Sunday Talk at a "New Thought" church in St. Louis where we'll be in May. The title of my talk will be Connecting in Love. Which is why I created this blog, to write about all the ways that connection can take place, and does take place, in my life. I have always believed that our human purpose is to "experience connection while in a state of separation."

I'd love to write and write and write in this blog, I have so many thoughts to share... such as, how to balance my Tantric love of connection with my Zen understanding of not being attached, but that will have to wait for another day! The rest of my to-do list is staring me in the face. Still, I'm grateful that I took this moment to drop in and post.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Smiles 2

A previous post talked about how marriage success can be predicted by whether or not the individual was smiling in past photos. Just now, I heard TV pastor Joel Osteen speak about the importance and value of smiling - whether you want to or not!

It reminded me of how, when I feel myself annoyed with Richard (oops - did I just shatter your view of our fabulous marriage?!), when he has said or done something that my knee-jerk reaction is to judge or complain about, I quickly settle into my own being and consciously shift to a state in which I know he is perfect - the most perfect Richard there is. Then, I say - out loud - to him, "You're perfect!" Sounds corny, but honestly, it is transformational. Read more here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I experienced a moment of familiar intimacy (into-me-see) when I happened to connect today with someone I hadn’t seen in ages. It happened at Barnes & Noble. Since I have my first book signings coming up soon (see my book signing schedule), I thought it would be good to go to someone else's! Today at B&N, Corey Perlman was speaking about his book, eBootCamp. Not only did he provide useful information but turns out his dad is someone I knew ages ago - Mark Perlman, of Nurturing Fathers fame. In reconnecting, there was a delightful sense of knowing each other, having been known, however briefly, at some time in the past.

Reminds me of the time I ran into an old high school acquaintance. There was such a strong sense of reconnecting that we embraced with a big hug. Only after I walked away did I remember that in high school, I couldn't stand the guy! The memory of connection was much more positive than the original relationship had been. Feeling a strong connection with someone doesn't necessarily mean you're meant for each other. However, if you ARE meant for each other, and have chosen each other, then experiencing a strong and intimate connection - over and over again - is what keeps the magic alive in your relationship.

By the way, at the book signing today, one really cool thing that Corey had us do was to chat briefly with other attendees, tell them what we do and ask them how they might search for us on Google. In e-marketing, these searching terms are called "key phrases" and we’re supposed to use them in the content on our websites and blogs so that people can find us. So, if you’re looking to “repair your marriage” or “intimacy help” for your relationship, hopefully this blog or my website will show up!

Thanks for visiting.
~ Diana

Friday, April 17, 2009

Into-ME-see: Intimacy with Myself

No matter how busy our lives are, it's so important to create time for intimate connection, with those we love and most especially with ourselves.

One way I create self-intimacy is through Focusing, a listening process that uses body-awareness to sense into one's inner truth. Originally developed by Eugene Gendlin, Focusing is a gentle yet powerful method of embracing all the parts of ourselves and finding our way forward with clarity and wholeness.

In my book, there is a focusing-related practice called "All of Me" which I sometimes use when I want to be present with Richard for our loving time together, but part of me is reluctant, or causing a distraction and could even create distance. The All of Me practice allows me to safely bring awareness of that part into the present moment, while allowing us to go forward with our loving.

Although Focusing can be done alone, having another person listening is the really magical component. Richard has never studied the process (he’s not the studying-type), but the All of Me practice gives him a few easy words to say that actually help me regain my ability to be present with him. It's amazing!

Focusing with a partner is truly intimate. Two of my focusing partners are Katya in New York and Katarina in Vancouver. Thank you, Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the telephone! (oops, a more accurate study of history reveals that Elisha Gray was the true inventor.)

If you’re interested in knowing more...
I studied Focusing with Ann Weiser Cornell.

Creative Edge Focusing Blog by Dr. Kathy McGuire (lots of free and valuable info, beyond just Focusing)

Katarina Halm is a teacher of Focusing, Feldenkrais , the Sounder Sleep System, and other related body-oriented healings.

Katya Salkinder is a tantric psychotherapist.

About Elisha Gray (if you're REALLY interested! I knew a man who invented the television only to discover that someone else had patented it just days before. Great minds really do think alike.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Today's news is a-buzz about a study that shows how photos can determine whether a person will be good at marriage. Seems that if we smiled widely in our college yearbook photo, we're more likely to have a happy disposition that bodes well for marriage. Hmm.. earth-shattering news? Happy people make good spouses.

At our Intimacy Retreats, when people share things they love about their partner, we often hear: "He makes me laugh." (Sometimes, it's she makes me laugh, but more often the reverse.) Not only when being photographed, a big smile FEELS GOOD!

And when two people look at each other and smile, a moment of intimacy - into-me-see - arises. The Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn says “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful." Mother Theresa: "Peace begins with a smile."

Try this - next time you look in a mirror, smile at yourself. Make sure it's a smile that includes your eyes. Guess what? You'll see yourself smiling back! That's a moment of intimacy/into-me-see that you can create all on your own. Then go out and share it with others.

Keep Love Alive!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Odd word, written down: gabbing. Webster defines it as talking in a "rapid or thoughtless" manner. So I guess I wasn't gabbing this morning with Yolande, Sarasota's premiere clothing designer, because our conversation was rich with serious thoughts. Seriously positive thoughts, and even some pauses between them. That's what made it such a great conversation! We really felt connected. (And since it was a follow up to our chance meeting on Siesta Beach, we had the recent memory of a physical hug still hanging around in our DNA.)

Why is it that verbal communication without specific information or instructions to impart is often put down as "just gabbing." (What is it called when the political pundits talk endlessly on TV?)

Are casual conversations about meaningful topics just "gabbing?" Well, yes, but we can reclaim the word as a GOOD thing, a good way to feel connected with the person we're chatting with. Like sex, some conversations create intimacy (into-me-see) and others are a waste of time. And, like sex, talking is important in a relationship. I once wrote about this in an article called We Have to Talk.

I could go on and on, since writing is a bit like gabbing. Blogging is gabbing. Oops, that's a sentence that's hard to say aloud. What makes a blog into a conversation is that readers can leave comments and reply. And a connected feeling can get transmitted across cyberspace.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Great Connections!

Becoming a new author (my book was just published) means jumping feet first into the world of book publicity. It means sending out press releases and emails and making phone calls and sometimes there's the delightful click of a connection.

For example, I just had a rather long phone conversation with Anita Finley who publishes a seniors magazine and has a talk radio show and wanted to know all about me. I learned about her, we shared back and forth, each of us finding new synergies to explore as our stories unfolded.

We met due to our mutual acquaintance with the fascinating Naomi Wilzig of the World Erotic Art Museum on Miami Beach.

And both of these connections came about only because I'm scheduled to speak at Books & Books, 927 Lincoln Ave., Miami Beach, on May 13 @ 7 pm.

Isn't it wonderful how one thing leads to another? Due to scheduling this one book signing, I have encountered and connected with two fabulous women whose lives now matter to me. And the event itself is a month away!

It looks like my work (in addition to marital coaching and leading Intimacy Retreats) is about publicity, but it's really about getting out there and engaging with others who are doing work that matters.

Playing with Sticks

At the drum circle on Siesta Key this past Sunday, I experienced an intimate connection with Buck Levine, a psychotherapist, while we played Crystal Stix on the beach. Each of held one stick in each hand while we tossed another stick back and forth between us. Twirling the stick and twirling our bodies, we stayed in synch with each other and the drum beat vibrating around the circle.

Without words, without even touch, we had to keep our energies aligned in order to keep the stick in motion. It was great exercise, and a great way to connect with another person.

As you'll discover, dear reader, this blog is about the many ways we can enjoy the experience of intimate and personal contact - whether sexual or not!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Starting a Blog!

Years ago, I wrote an essay about "intimacy" which has been my passion, my delight, my salvation, and in recent years, my work as a facilitator of Intimacy Retreats for couples.

Connecting with others, really connecting, through eye contact and/or touch, through emotional and/or spiritual sharing, through writing and speaking and drumming and laughing.. has always been what drives and excites me.

The recent publication of my book, Tantric Sex for Busy Couples: How to Deepen Your Passion in Just Ten Minutes a Day, has provided me with motivation to take my love of intimacy to a wider audience. This blog is one of the ways I am doing that. Regardless of how or why you land here, I hope that you are inspired to create intimacy in your own life.